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Arrogant Line Companies Provoke Rural Backlash

Arrogant Line Companies Provoke Fierce Rural Backlash

Sunday 25th Mar 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Other

ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff today urged landowners to follow the example of Otago farmer Bill Simpson and lock out electrical line companies if the companies and the Government do not show a more reasonable attitude toward property rights.

“I empathise with Bill. He’s got these power pylons running through the middle of his property that bring him no benefit. They put major restrictions on his farming. Yet the line company tramples across his property and doesn’t pay a cent.

“Energy Minister Pete Hodgson and the line companies want farmers to bear the cost and responsibility when things go wrong. Hodgson thinks that if he unfairly dumps the costs onto farmers, he can keep his Government on-side with consumers.

“This arrogant move could end up costing the rural sector a fortune – Alexandra farmers already know the cost of summer fires caused by broken power lines. Power lines are not just a nuisance but can be a real hazard.

“Fighting back is the only option for land owners whose property rights are being attacked.

“Line companies will find more farmers denying them access until they start being reasonable.

“I have many power lines crossing my own property. In light of the Government’s foolish intransigence, I will reassess the free, unfettered access I have always allowed line companies.

“I urge the companies to urgently seek an outcome with land-owners.

“These farmers are merely seeking natural justice.

“The Minister of Energy, Pete Hodgson, appears to have no understanding of that concept,” Gerry Eckhoff concluded.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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